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Age Spots & Should You Just Accept Them As Inevitable?

Hands of a Catholic priest, praying. Hands in this position for blessing. The words age spots are really not the kind of description you want to hear about a condition that usually affects visible areas of your skin (particularly the hands) as you grow older. Their other common name of liver spots is also a bit off putting. Sun spots would definitely sound more attractive, and not without justification either as too much exposure to the sun is the main reason for their appearance anyway. But please don't let that reason put you off the sun. The advertising and media world have already done a great job at that – to such good effect that they have managed to make a large proportion of the western world so afraid of the sun that they are now seriously vitamin D deficient. We all need the sun but of course we can protect those areas vulnerable to age spots (such as hands and faces), not by slathering on the chemical laden sun creams, but by keeping them shaded. The rest of our bodies need exposure during those two hours either side of 12 noon but only until they start to turn the lightest shade of pink and no longer. Limit sun exposure to those healthy amounts that do not lead to sunburn.

Why do we start to develop age spots?

As you grow older – say after the age of 40 - or because you have a fairer complexion, you can be more prone to age spots. The pigment in your skin is produced by melanin and exposure to ultraviolet (or UV) light accelerates melanin production. The aging process itself can also increase melanin production.

There are other causes too

A selenium deficiency can be one cause of age spots. Selenium is an essential trace mineral that plays an important role in protecting cells from free radicals. A handful of raw Brazil nuts will add extra selenium to your diet. Another reason can be a deficiency in potassium. This can be avoided by including potassium-rich foods in your diet - apricots, avocados, bananas, cantaloupe, dates, figs, kiwi fruit and melons. A healthier lifestyle will always help with improving any type of unwanted condition so, along with those fresh fruits, include as many raw fruits and vegetables as possible while making sure to drink plenty of pure, filtered water to keep the system cleansed. Always make a conscious effort to avoid or eliminate processed foods, junk and fast foods, sodas, sweets, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and tobacco.

Can age spots be a sign of something more sinister?

Although age spots are harmless, it is always wise to have them checked by a dermatologist, or your doctor, if they change in appearance. They may become irregularly shaped, itchy, tender or even grow larger. An unusual combination of colors is something else to look out for. Age spots usually pose absolutely no threat and require no treatment but some prefer to have them treated anyway.

What can be done to remove age spots?

Many people find age spots unsightly and would like to have them removed, particularly when there is dryness, roughness and even thinning of the skin at the site of the age spot. You don't have to live with age spots if you would rather not. There are several methods for such removal including chemical peel, dermabrasion, electrosurgery, laser treatment, cryotherapy - or you can go for a more natural, gentler route which can be less expensive and risky but still come with successful results. Over the counter or prescription bleaching creams are not recommended because of their harshness to skin and even dangerous toxins. There is no need to accept age spots as inevitable. See our H-Age spots Formula